The $16.5 billion merger that formed Bank of New York Mellon Corp. is resulting in the departure of some high-level Mellon Financial executives, including CFO Michael Bryson.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that CIO Kevin Shearan and director of corporate sourcing John Obrist have left the company, and predicted more departures. It said that earlier this year, the combined company had confirmed that Bryson planned to retire in 2008, although no formal announcement was made about his plans. For now, he remains on the job in Mellon’s Pittsburgh offices.
According to the Post-Gazette, additional high-level departures may reflect the existence of severance terms that allow certain Mellon Financial executives to leave after a change of control, collecting double the employee’s highest 12-month salary and double the highest bonus within in the last three years, while continuing benefits for two years. The paper listed Bryson’s 2006 salary as $525,000 and his bonus as $500,000. Citing a Mellon regulatory filing, the paper also said that 12 other executives have similar “walk away” clauses.
Bruce Van Saun, finance chief of the combined New York-based financial services giant, declined to comment on the departures. A Pittsburgh-based company spokesman, however pointed to Bank of New York Mellon’s record of having added 160 western Pennsylvania employees since last December, building the total workforce there to 6,200. The expansion of the corporate trust office alone, will create 150 positions there by the end of 2008, according to an earlier announcement.
The merger was an ambitious attempt to blend Mellon’s huge wealth-management business and Bank of New York’s asset-servicing and short-term-lending specialties. And Van Saun told CFO magazine in January that Bank of New York Mellon management aimed to achieve $700 million in cost synergies as an “added tailwind for the first three years” as the company grew. He also said that the biggest challenges of the merger related to technology integration.
Some Mellon Financial executives did make the move to key positions with the combined company — including the most key of all: Robert P. Kelly, who became CEO of the new entity. After five years as CFO at Wachovia, and helping engineer its merger with First Union, Kelly became chairman, president and CEO of Mellon in February of 2006.